In Syria, in one week 40 000 people were killed in Hama, that was in 1982, or the early ’80’s. Alot of people were arrested. Amongst them was a family by the name Az -Za`tar, who were from a village close to Damascus.
Now that son, he was a very righteous Muslim alhamdulillah. He was one of the brothers who would memorize Qur’an and would go to the masjid often. He was known to never miss any lecture and any good deed that could be done. One day, the Intelligence came to the village and they arrested lots of these brothers and he was amongst them. But that brother, from Az-Za`tar, he was in the masjid at the time he was arrested. He was in the masjid reading the Qur’an.
Allah subhana wa ta`ala had blessed him with a wife, a very righteous wife. When he was arrested, it was only six months after his first baby boy was born. He had named him, `Abdullah.
Now when that brother got arrested, nobody knew he had been arrested . So people started to say that maybe he had died or ‘Allahu`alam’ what happened to him.
But then, after twelve years, they released him, and they put him in a place in Syria, in Damascus called, Sahatal Marjah. They dropped him in that place, and his eyes were so bloody that he couldn’t even see his surroundings. They left him like a dog or even worse. So what happened, SubhanAllah, one taxi driver was passing by and he saw that man and he felt a lot of mercy and sympathy towards him and he said, “Let me give you a ride, where do you live?”
He said, “I want to go to such a village, it’s called At-Til.”
So he took him to At-Til and he refused to take any money.
Even if he were to ask for any money, he didn’t have anything.
Now that brother, wallah you will be amazed, he remembered the sunnah. He did not go immediately to his home, he started by going to the masjid of that village. He went to the masjid where he was arrested and he prayed two rak`ah.
After he prayed two rak`ah, he was just looking around him when he saw a couple of children reading the Qur`an as they were having a halaqah. He was just watching them and seeing how nice they were. After the halaqah was over, he saw one of them that (he) really liked in particular. He saw that he looked very bright and very intelligent and so on.
So he (said), “O boy come here, what is your name?”
He said, “My name is `Abdullah Az-Za`tar.”
He didn’t’ believe him.
He said, “Who is your father?”
He said: “I don’t know my father. My mum told me that my father went away in struggle and that he is coming back. But he never appeared after that.”
This really took place, a few years ago and he found him in the same masjid he was arrested in and he found him doing the same thing he was doing when he was arrested – reading the Qur`an, trying to memorize the Qur`an.